The first time I threw my racket across the court whilst trying to hit a forehand I thought it was a one-off. I thought it was just the hot weather, my sweaty palms, an old overgrip that needed replacing. I laughed it off and waited for the people around me to do the same, but I was instead met with an embarrassed silence. I hurriedly picked up my racket and carried on training, trying my best to keep control of the racket for the rest of the hour.
When it happened a second time (on a much cooler day, with a fairly new overgrip), I wondered if the problem was indeed down to my poor technique. In fact it has been noted to me that I have a sneaky thumb that starts in the right position but likes to creep up the handle as I am playing. Could this be the reason for my lack of racket control? Or is it the way that I grip the racket? Apparently I am supposed to hold the racket loosely but firmly, but to be sure not to grip it too tight. How do I find that balance between tight enough not to lose my racket but loose enough that the strokes flow like Roger Federer’s?
Let us suppose for a moment that the problem could be with my equipment. Well, I have been using Tourna Grip which is that blue grip that you see all of the professional players use. Yes, I suppose I might as well stop here. But no, that won’t discourage me from investigating further how other overgrips perform!
And now I will be able to do just that, as this week I won some overgrip in an Instagram competition that Alien Pros ran. They have lots of snazzy designs and promise “long-lasting tackiness, excellent sweat-absorption and exceptional soft touch to provide unmatched racket control and performance”. I have chosen to test-drive the Black Clouds design that you see in the photos (and web links) above and I must say that the possibility of matching different overgrips with my racket and my tennis outfits is rather attractive. And if they stop me from launching my racket across the tennis court you’ll be the first to find out.
What do you find to be the right grip/overgrip for your tennis racket? Let me know in the comments below.